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Covid-19, analyzing air flows allows to reduce indoor transmission



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Covid-19, analyzing air flows allows to reduce indoor transmission


Some fundamental aspects against the spread of COVID-19 they have proved effective in reducing infections, such as wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, avoiding closed spaces, preferring open ones with little crowding. It is inevitable, however, that with the arrival of winter, closed environments are increasingly preferred. But how to reduce the risk of contagion indoor?

At the 73rd annual meeting of the American Physical Society’s Fluid Dynamics Division, researchers presented a series of studies investigating on aerodynamics of infectious diseases. Their findings suggest risk reduction strategies based on a rigorous understanding of how infectious particles mix with air in confined spaces.

Covid-19 and the air flows in indoor spaces

Research at the start of the pandemic focused on the role played by large, rapidly falling droplets produced by coughing and sneezing. However, documented subsequent events have suggested that the transmission for airway of tiny particles from daily activities can also be a dangerous route of infection.

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MIT mathematicians have proposed a new safety guideline based on existing models of airborne disease transmission to identify maximum levels of exposure in a variety of indoor environments. Their guideline depends on a metric called “Cumulative exposure time”, which is determined by multiplying the number of people in a room by the duration of the exposure. The maximum depends on the size and ventilation rate of the room, the occupant’s face lining, the infectivity of the aerosolized particles, and other factors. It is therefore possible to say that a greater knowledge of aerodynamics in indoor spaces can certainly help to counteract the spread of Covid-19 in these places.

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Image by TheOtherKev from Pixabay